I got a baby ball python about a month ago. He was born in August and has never taken food. I have assist fed him a number of times, which I don’t particularly like doing as it causes him stress. I have tried baby rats, pinkies, fluffies, etc. I have tried different tricks I have been told about: putting a hair dryer to the mouse, hot water, even rolling the mouse in tuna. Nothing works! What shall I do? He has never been interested. He just seems scared.

1 Answer 1


Try getting them live not frozen. I've got a kingsnake that was bred in the wild. Wouldn't eat anything except for wild mice because of the color. If your snake is breed in captivity do not feed it wild rodents! They can carry diseases that the snake has not become immune to. I'd recommend trying live. If he eats the live I'd recommend breeding mice. Simply buy a pair. It saves a lot of money. I've been breeding wild mice. I had to make sure it was legal though. And I have to take certain safety precautions on handling them. The can carry many diseases. Mice breed in captivity are vaccinated so you don't have to worry. I'd still recommend quarantining mice to see if they are active. Mice sleep a lot so don't get confused. They spend most of their time eating and sleeping. I quarantine my wild mice for two weeks before feeding them to my snake. I love her dearly and would hate for her to get sick. So yes I'd recommend trying live and if that doesn't work try contacting a veterinarian that works with reptiles. If you cannot find a reptile vet ask your regular vet if they can help. When was the last time your snake ate? Snakes will go a while without food. In the wild finding food is hard. So they have adapted to go long periods of time without food. My kingsnake can go 6 months without food. Also he still might be adjusting to his new home. Does he have a heat lamp? Is he in a quiet place? Is he on the ground or up on a desk or table? All these can affect your snake and prevent him from eating. If he doesn't have a heat lamp then get one. A heat mat is also recommended to go will the heat lamp. Put a thermometer in the cage. To hot and to cold temperatures can affect your snake too. If he's in a noisy room move him to a quiet place where he won't get disturbed. If he's on the floor the vibrations can stress him out. Move him to a shelf or table. Also are his eyes a bluish color. If so he's getting ready to shed which can affect his eyesight preventing him from eating. Dont handling him when his eyes are a blue color. He could bite you on accident. Also after he sheds check the skin that the snake sheds for eye caps. I'll be attaching a picture of what my snakes eyecaps look like so that way you know what to look for. Also constantly walking into the room when he's hunting will stress him out. Avoid the room and avoid any motion which can affect his hunting. If he does eat don't handle him until three days after eating. If you handle him before this it can cause him to regurgitate his food due to stress. Making sure the humidity is at a good range will help. As well as fresh water. I know it's hard when your animal doesn't want to eat. Like I said I've had the same problem has you. But since the snake cannot tell you what's wrong you have to figure it out. I hope this helps you figure out the problem. Let me know if it doesn't work. Ball Pythons can be very picky sometimes. They may want frozen food. And then change there mind and want live. So be prepared for a possible change in appetite. Ivd lived with my dad's ball python for my whole life. I actually named her when I was 2. And shes been picky. I worked at Wildlife Safari for a while and many of their snakes where picky too. It just depends and in the end you'll find out the problem. Again let me know if the problem continues.

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    This might have a good answer in it somewhere, but all I can see is a rambling wall of text with a bunch of extra questions in it. SE is a site based on a question and answer format, not a forum; can you please clean this answer up to make it more readable, and remove the additional questions?
    – Allison C
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 14:50

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